In the candy-hued interior of The Pan American, American and Latin cuisine draws strength from locally sourced ingredients beneath the helm of executive chef Harry Stoehr. As salsa tunes and renditions of "Free Bird" played with the spoons serenade ears, dining duets peruse brunch dishes such as the chorizo-studded and tomatillo-topped Peruvian hash, or the eggs benedict, which entraps serrano ham and pimento hollandaise betwixt corn cakes. Cold and hot plates, such as the duck breast robed in pineapple-gooseberry glaze, satisfy breakfast scorners, and the grilled-octopus-and-squid plate capsizes appetites with the aid of Peruvian potatoes and piquillo peppers. Upscale bloody marys delight palates between bites with house-infused horseradish vodka, and the Dark and Stormy elixir recalls tumultuous nights and the beginnings of midnight weather reports with Gosling’s Black Seal rum and house-brewed ginger beer.
Surrounded by exposed-brick walls, diners seated at intimate tables and a wraparound bench peruse Torrisi Italian Specialties' tasting menu, which New York Magazine named the city’s best in 2012. Chefs Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone develop a new lineup for this menu each week, which means every meal at the restaurant is surprising and new, like a word someone just made up and started shouting. Although Torrisi and Carbone have toyed with several iterations of their restaurant’s current offerings—ultra-inventive tastings, a simple sandwich menu for lunch—Bloomberg’s Ryan Sutton says they’ve found their sweet spot. According to him, the two “have transformed this tiny Nolita restaurant from a casual spot into one of our city’s great restaurants, a gustatory love letter to New York’s ethnic neighborhoods, notably Chinatown, the Lower East Side, and Little Italy.”
Seven Spring Food and Wine's locally sourced ingredients suffuse traditional Asian recipes, ready to be tucked into tortillas, bundled into burgers, and rolled into nori to form the fusion menu. Embark on an alimentary adventure with a plate of five tempura-fried jumbo shrimp, served with lime-wasabi sauce ($8), and then delve into one of ten signature sushi rolls, such as the Jumbo Kitchen Sink, with shrimp tempura, crab, tuna, salmon, and avocado ($15). The big Italian burger drapes its half-pound Angus patty in a seductive cape of sautéed onions and Italian truffle cheese in order to woo its coy side dish of steamed edamame or seasoned fries ($13). Like an elegant origami sombrero, an array of exotic tacos pairs Eastern ingredients with Mexican architecture, filling fresh tortillas with tasty building blocks of spicy seared ahi tuna ($14), Korean bulgogi beef ($13), or smoked tofu ($13).
Ken & Cook takes its name from the culinary expertise found in its busy kitchen, as well as the rich history of Kenmare Street that runs just steps outside its front door. The cozy restaurant at 19 Kenmare Street permeates with a sense of the building's storied past. Its bare brick walls once framed gatherings of big-city politicians, as well as rumored meetings of the Commission of the New York Mafia and Legitimate Bussinesspeople. Today, the upscale bar and eatery blends traditional European dishes with modern flourishes, treating diners to plates of wild-shrimp bouillabaisse with basmati rice, pan-seared duck breast over sweet-potato puree, or savory selections of Italian and Spanish charcuterie. Guests belly up to the raw bar for morsels of clams or Blue Island oysters, arrive early for brunches of belgian waffles and grass-fed burgers, or sip fine wines and craft beer at happy hour.
In describing their restaurant as a ?contemporary Parisian bistro,? the staff at Cantine Parisienne commits to juxtaposition, which they cleverly carry out both on the menu and in the dining room?s decor. Traditional French dishes such as cod filet and veal escalope are made alongside New York classics such as club sandwiches and homemade cheesecake. Breakfasts take buffet form with flourishes including organic egg dishes and fresh fruit salad, while handcrafted cocktails and boutique French wines carry a sense of refinement.
Outside the kitchen, the space is designed to take advantage of another Parisian pastime: people watching. Twenty-foot open windows stretch to the high ceiling, allowing natural light to spill atop chrome accents and white-marble tables. Along with the latter, blue and red chairs complete the colors of the French flag and add vibrancy to the room.